Dennis Emerson

Stars juvenile team season ends with home ice loss in OMHA semi-finals

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

For a team that was struggling attracting players early in the season, the Amherstburg Stars juvenile hockey team managed to get to the OMHA semi-final.

The Stars lost 3-2 Monday night to the New Hamburg Huskies, a loss which ended their season. New Hamburg won the six-point series 7-5.

Ernie Godden gave the Stars a 1-0 lead in the first but the Huskies tied it before the period was out and took the lead early in the third period. Godden tied it with a shorthanded goal with just over five minutes left in the third period but New Hamburg scored the winning goal on the powerplay during the same penalty.

“I think, at the end of the day, we gave ourselves a chance to win,” said assistant coach Blaine Bechard. “It sucks we didn’t get the win.”

Bechard said the program excelled as the season went on, noting they had roughly ten players near the start of the season but picked up more players as the season went on.

“I think it was a pretty successful year,” he said.

Amherstburg’s Kyle Meloche (12) gets a scoring chance on New Hamburg goalie Eric Munro during action in the sixth game of the OMHA semi-final series Monday night in Amherstburg. New Hamburg won the game 3-2 to win the six-point series seven points to five.

Amherstburg’s Kyle Meloche (12) gets a scoring chance on New Hamburg goalie Eric Munro during action in the sixth game of the OMHA semi-final series Monday night in Amherstburg. New Hamburg won the game 3-2 to win the six-point series seven points to five.

The Stars thought they had a chance after the shorthanded goal but the powerplay goal by the Huskies proved to be the difference, he added.

The Stars juvenile team picked up three of a possible four points on the weekend at the Libro Centre before heading to New Hamburg Sunday afternoon where they lost 7-0. That loss was partially due to unusual circumstances, however.

Assistant coach Wes Ewer said it was “one of the most fun losses I have ever been a part of. Due to an engineering mid-term and a case of mono we did not have an eligible goalie for (Sunday) so we had one of our veteran players step up and volunteer to play net.”

Despite the fact he is not their regular goalie, Ewer said Erik Vandenham “made some huge saves in the game.”

Ewer added: “The way our team handled the situation is nothing short of outstanding. They were able to keep everything in perspective,  and made the best of day together.”

In the series’ third game Friday night, the Stars settled for a 4-4 tie with New Hamburg and beat the Huskies 2-0 Saturday afternoon behind a shutout from Jack Langlois and goals from Zac Garvey and Ernie Godden.

“They’ve been playing really hard,” said Stars head coach Dennis Emerson after Saturday afternoon’s game.

Amherstburg's Jared Benninger (right) checks Mitch Schurink during March 4 action at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg.

Amherstburg’s Jared Benninger (right) checks Mitch Schurink during March 4 action at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg.

Emerson said they played well Friday night and had a 4-1 lead at one point but let New Hamburg back in the game. Garret Blunt scored twice in that game for Amherstburg with Jack Hubbell and Colton McGregor adding the others.

“The boys have been battling hard,” he said.

Injured players are regaining their health and coming back into the lineup, he added. They have been working hard and playing well defensively during the season and Emerson wanted a rested bunch for Sunday’s game in New Hamburg.

“The guys have bought into our system,” Emerson said of this season’s success.

Juvenile Stars split weekend road games

 

Special to the RTT

This past weekend the Amherstburg Stars Juvenile team headed up the 401 to kick off their OMHA Semi-Final match up with the New Hamburg Huskies.

Game 1 Friday night saw both teams feeling each other out for most of the early portion of the game. After two periods of the play the game was tied 0-0. The score remained tied until late in the 3rd period when the Stars capitalized on the power play.

Ernie Godden ripped a shot from the hash marks to put the stars up 1-0. That turned out to be all that was needed. Godden would go on to seal the deal for the stars with an empty net goal. Chris Mitri kept the door shut for Amherstburg between the pipes and recorded the shutout.

Captain Garret Blunt gets a shot off late in Game 2 of the OMHA Semi Finals.  The Amherstburg Stars juvenile team is taking on the New Hamburg Huskies.

Captain Garret Blunt gets a shot off late in Game 2 of the OMHA Semi Finals. The Amherstburg Stars juvenile team is taking on the New Hamburg Huskies.

Game 2 was played Sunday afternoon and the Stars, due to some questionable calls in the first game, were short a couple players.

The game was back and forth with both teams trading chances for the most of the first period. After the first the game was tied at 1-1 with Reid Thrasher putting one home from the point for the Stars. Unfortunately that is all the offense the Stars could muster for this game.

They had chances late in the game to tie it up but couldn’t find the back of the net. When asked his thoughts on the weekend, head coach Dennis Emerson said, “We did what we needed to do and got the one win on the road. We would have loved to be coming home with two wins but if we do our job and win our home games we can wrap this thing up this weekend..”

The Stars return home to the Libro Centre this weekend to take on the same New Hamburg team and try and advance to the OMAH Finals. Games are this Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Libro Centre. Come out and support some great local hockey action.